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Beethoven - Piano Works, Vol 1 [CD]

Ludwig van Beethoven Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: £5.93 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Beethoven - Piano Works, Vol 1 + Beethoven: Piano Works Vol. 3 [Recorded 1932-1935] + Beethoven: Piano Works, Vol. 7
Price For All Three: £17.93

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Product details

  • Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Audio CD (2 Sep 2002)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Naxos Historical
  • ASIN: B00006GO3T
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 291,365 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description


Beethoven: Piano Works, Vol 1 is one of the performances that explain why Schnabel's recordings are still revered by many music lovers and worthy of the series Great Pianists. This pianist, himself a composer, penetrated deeply into Beethoven's music, revealing the structure and the emotions of these magnificent sonatas. Every phrase is pointed, making sense out of Beethoven's complex writing. Schnabel also produced beautiful sound from the piano, a quality still audible. There are some deficiencies in these recordings, all caused by the early recording process. Since no editing was possible, occasional wrong notes remain. (Schnabel also rushes the ends of some phrases, but he did it constantly and it's what he meant to do.) Some desirable repeats were omitted because every additional 78 rpm side cost the purchaser more money. And the sound quality is antiquated. However, these new transfers by Mark Obert-Thorn offer the best reproduction these recordings have ever had and a minimum of surface noise. They justify spending Naxos's modest asking price even if you already have an earlier CD version. --Leslie Gerber

Product Description

CD Composer: Beethoven,Ludwig Van

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good old naxos 11 Dec 2004
Format:Audio CD
At last, an intelligent transfer of these classic Schnabel recordings. EMI's transfers are without hiss yet muffled, perfunctory and inartistic, even chopping off final chords and fading into opening ones. Pearl's transfers are non-interventionist yet artless and distracting to listen to because of the incessant hiss. The attraction of the Dante set lies in the compact nature of its product but I believe Naxos has achieved the best results so far with these legendary recordings.
The Naxos sound is crisp and clean, has depth and is well balanced. Schnabel's playing comes through with an immediacy and directness I had all but forgotten about through over-exposure to the dismal EMI edition.
This disc is a wonder and would be excellent value at 4 times the price.
Suffice to say I look forward to acquiring the other 8 discs on this sonata set!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic interpretations well transferred 3 Sep 2002
Format:Audio CD
Everyone knows that Schnabel's recordings of the 32 Beethoven piano sonatas are regarded as something of a holy grail item - which is probably why this is the first time they have appeared as anything other than full price releases. Previously, Pearl were considered to have done the best job of transfering the old records onto CD, but the price to be paid was a high level of background hiss. The EMI transfers eliminated this hiss to the point of it being almost inaudible, but by the same token one feels as if he or she is listening to a fortepiano recording due to the highs being virtually cut out.
In these new transfers, Mark Obert-Thorn has tried to strike a balance between the two extremes, and has by and large succeeded. There is still some hiss, but nothing compared to what one could hear on the Pearl issues, and one is quite aware of Schnabel's pianistic skills, as was not often the case on the EMI set. The interpretations are of course, transcendental as always, setting standards which are generally accepted to be the benchmark for Beethoven playing.
To sum up, if you have the Pearl issues you might find this new Naxos release a welcome one, as it removes a great deal of the hiss. If you have the EMI transfers, this new disc will prove indispensable especially at the bargain price.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Artur Schnabel (Austrian born, in 1882) has been described as a 'musician' rather than as a 'pianist'. There are technically better exponents of the instrument, there are pianists who are more disciplined and less explosive than Schnabel, but his interpretation of Beethoven's piano sonatas remains an outstanding contribution to music and to an understanding of the composer.
Schanbel had a composer's mind - he wasn't only a performer, he wrote and arranged as well. He also seems to have entered into Beethoven's mindset and established an almost telepathic link with the genius. Contemporaries of Schnabel certainly felt that no one in their era came as close to expressing the 'real' Beethoven.
And there is a significant parallel in Schnabel's recording of the work and Beethoven's writing of them. The piano sonatas were first and foremost Beethoven. They were written by him at a piano, and were played by him at a piano - not by an orchestra or quartet or trio. This is a direct link to Beethoven's hand, ear, and mind. The sonatas are passionately individual and intimate.
And they were written at a time when the piano was evolving - Beethoven was pushing the instrument to its then technical limitations. Schnabel records the works in the face of rapid developments of the technology of his time. Though recording techniques and equipment look at least quaint and antiquated by today's standards, this was the cutting edge of technology in the 1930's. Yet Schnabel was reluctant to record the works initially - he couldn't quite accept that it was legitimate.
And he had good reason.
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